BAKERS capable of crafting masterful meringues and first-rate frangipane can apply for the next series of Great British Bake Off.

The production company behind the hit television show, which moved this year from the BBC to Channel 4, has launched a national hunt for next year's contestants.

Love Productions, which makes GBBO, has confirmed the much-loved baking contest will return in 2018 for a ninth series.

In a pun-packed message of encouragement to potential applicants, it said: "We're looking for a fresh batch of brilliant amateur bakers to dough battle and enter the tent.

"If you fancy putting your skills to the test, apply now and prove what you're made of.

"If you know someone up to the challenge, tell them to get off their soggy bottoms, give them a crème pat on the back and persuade them to apply."

Hopefuls can enter online via this link or ring 07384748225.

This year West Oxfordshire resident Prue Leith replaced Mary Berry as a judge alongside Paul Hollywood.

Oxfordshire is also home to Christine Wallace of Didcot, who made the quarter-final of GBBO in series 4. 

Deadline for applications is Sunday January 7.